EAGLES chief Paul Blake has warned the club’s players they need to put things right when they make a return to action against Scottish Rocks tonight. Blake also revealed that he met with Flournoy and the players earlier in the week to discuss their second-half performance in the final, although he stopped short of declaring it as ‘crisis talks.’
‘What happened against the Heat in the final was not acceptable,’ he said. ‘That is not just my own perspective, but thankfully the players and Fab also hold that opinion. We all sat down for more than three hours on Monday night and watched lots of video tape and everyone spoke in a forthright manner about what happened and the reasons for our second-half display.’
‘It was difficult as perhaps we thought we had the game in the bag at half-time, and ultimately there were a number of reasons why we didn’t continue where we left off from the first half. The big positive is that we all feel that this kind of thing won’t happen again.’
‘The players have a quick opportunity to bounce back and give the supporters something to cheer again by beating the Rocks, although that in itself will be a hugely difficult task.’
Blake also fired a warning shot to the players in terms of the club’s ambitions to eventually make a foray into Europe. Despite this now being something of an annual talking point, Blake pointed out that if it does become reality then performances like the one in the final could leave them regretting taking the plunge.
He added: ‘In an ideal situation, the club and the players all want to play in Europe and test ourselves against the best, but you look at the way that we performed against Guildford and you tend to think any European ambitions are misplaced.’
‘To have any hope of competing in Europe, the guys need to show that they can do it domestically first and that is a challenge they have to rise to between now and the end of the season. On paper we are far too talented to produce that kind of third quarter as we did on Sunday – but we did. It many ways it is inexcusable, and it is something everyone needs to address – starting with the Rocks game.’
It will be the sixth meeting between the Eagles and the Rocks this season and, with Sterling Davis’ team having lost 108-92 at Worcester Wolves last week, both teams are in need of a victory.
Eagles have won three of those five meetings, knocking the Glasgow club out of the BBL Cup and Trophy. However, with both sides having won once in BBL Championship meetings, they will go into tonight’s game knowing that the winner will snatch the season series between the teams.